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A Taste of Telecom Diversity

vietnam_map.gifThis week’s post is about a fascinating trip I’ve been on in Asia these last couple of weeks -- visiting Indonesia, Vietnam, India & Thailand. Each of these countries is going through tremendous transformation and the network infrastructure is key to them propelling themselves to a much stronger position in the world. The state of the telecom infrastructure for each of these countries could be topics of a blog or book, so let me focus this post on Vietnam. Getting off the plane in Hanoi reminded me of my first visit to Beijing in 1996 -- the airport, the officials, the process all seemed to be similar to what I recall in my first visit to China. Leaving the airport in the taxi, I suddenly felt that I had arrived in Bangalore -- small streets that are packed with cars, motorcycles, scooters and other transports. The ride from the airport to the hotel took about 1.5 hours in which I had time to ponder the current state of local economy, telecom market and infrastructure in Vietnam. Read More »

Coherent Experiences

“Seamless mobility” is a trendy industry buzz phrase, promoted by Motorola, Microsoft, Intel and many others. Any content available on any device across any network…sounds magical! Often this idea arises in discussions of fixed-mobile convergence. Yet systems that successfully span fixed and mobile are usually not seamless at all. On the contrary, fixed and mobile remain distinct, each optimized for its own constraints. Consider two highly successful systems, the Apple iPod and the RIM BlackBerry. Read More »

Meanwhile Back at the Ranch : What about CableCARDs?

backattheranch.pngWith all the talk about DCAS and secure download for cable and IPTV, let’s not forget CableCARDsUntil downloadable conditional access system (DCAS) and the IPTV Interoperability Forum’s (IIF) secure download become available for wide deployment, CableCARD and the ATIS (the Alliance for Telecommunications Industry Solutions) point of deployment (APOD) module (specs for which are currently near finalization) will provide present and near-term security solutions for both HFC cable and IPTV networks. It is very unlikely that CableCARDs will completely be displaced in the next two years by any downloadable solution and, even longer term, may be a coexisting technology. Read More »

Protecting the Perimeter

As the Internet and access to it becomes more and more prevalent around the world, service providers, enterprises as well as small and medium businesses are challenged to protect their internet infrastructure from hackers and malicious applications causing business disruption. One of the key applications that has evolved over the years is the firewall. Firewall acts as a regulator between networks at different trust levels. Typical examples of trust levels being the Internet and a corporate internal network. Read More »

Holiday Nerd

Happy New Year! During the holidays, I visited family back east, sharing good meals (too many) and good times (never enough). My inner nerd also enjoyed checking out their new networking gadgets. My mother-in-law received a WiFi picture frame, a great device for grandparents everywhere. Particularly compelling is the ability to email photos directly to the frame, via Seeframe. After transferring photos from our digital camera to a PC, we just email them to a particular address, and they start appearing in her living room, with no technical gymnastics on her side. (Keep the email address private, to avoid unpleasant pictorial surprises!) Even quicker, we can send photos directly from our camera phones to the frame, for near-real-time grandchild updates. This ability to send photos from a mobile phone to a picture frame serves as a reminder that possible innovations for fixed-mobile convergence are much broader than just handing off phone calls between cellular and WiFi radio access. Read More »